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Battling Canker Sores

  
  
  
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Recurrent aphthous stomatitis (RAS), known as canker sores, has perplexed the medical world for as long as they have appeared in people’s oral cavities. These benign and non-contagious mouth ulcers, although sometimes very small, cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. They can interfere with eating, drinking and articulation, and in more severe cases they can be debilitating.  RAS affects more than 2.5 billion people worldwide and is the most common oral disease in North America.

Hawthorn and the Heart

  
  
  
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Botanical medicine has long valued hawthorn extract (Crataegus oxyacantha) for its positive effects on heart health. Hawthorn’s beneficial properties are so well-recognized that in some European countries it is offered as a pharmaceutical drug. Animal and human trials have demonstrated positive results from hawthorn extracts, including reduced angina, greater left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), and increased exercise tolerance. Hawthorn has a number of properties that account for these effects, which make it a useful complement to conventional treatments for heart health.

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The Testosterone/Estrogen Balance in Men

  
  
  
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Testosterone deficiency is reported in 20% of men over 60 years of age and rapidly increases to more than 50% of all men over the age of 80.  The declining levels of testosterone are a natural occurrence for a number of physiological reasons, but their effects are not salubrious, and are associated with coronary disease and a lack of physical and emotional well-being.

Lycopene’s Contribution to Prostate Health

  
  
  
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As men age, prostate health increasingly becomes a concern, and given the statistics, this increased focus comes as no surprise. According to the Centers for Disease Control, prostate cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among men in the U.S., while benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) affects up to 50% of men in their fifties and 90% of men in their eighties. Although termed “benign,” any excessive growth that can interfere with optimal functioning of the prostate in reproductive and urinary health should not necessarily be considered normal, despite how common the condition is.

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Uncovering the Hidden Facets of Fibromyalgia

  
  
  
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Fibromyalgia is a mysteriously debilitating pain syndrome that often gets lumped into or associated with chronic fatigue and myofascial pain syndromes. No one knows the cause, but it may be triggered by injuries, emotional trauma, hormone deficiency states, or viral infections. Traditional approaches typically offer limited success and focus on symptom management.

Blueberry the superfood: What exactly makes the blueberry so super?

  
  
  
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For centuries, wild blueberries have grown abundantly throughout the northern climates of North America – particularly Maine, Atlantic Canada and Quebec. They can be spotted while trekking through the woods, where people can snatch them right off of bushes and pop them into their mouths. Although enjoyed simply for their taste for many years, we now know that this succulent blue fruit also comes with numerous documented health benefits. Since the 1970s, blueberries have become one of the most highly researched foods of the early 21st century, the darlings of scientists and crowned, by the media, as the “superfood.”

Bowel Function and Regularity – Part 2

  
  
  
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In part 1 of this series, we touched on some of the causes of bowel dysfunction in the form of diarrhea. In this part, we’ll move to the other end of the spectrum, to constipation. According to the National Institutes of Health, constipation implies fewer than three bowel movements per week. In other words, healthy colon function isn’t defined by daily bowel movements that occur like clockwork. In fact, according to the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons, the misperception that healthy regularity requires daily elimination has “led to overuse and abuse of laxatives.” Nevertheless, there are patients who eliminate fewer than three times a week, or whose stools are hard and painful to pass; and chronic, long-term constipation can result in health compromises far beyond the large intestine.

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Bowel Function and Regularity – Part 1

  
  
  
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When it comes to bowel function and elimination, some people’s bodies are so precise they could stand in for the atomic clocks at NASA. For others, bowel movements are so infrequent that each one is cause for celebration. Diarrhea and constipation are opposite extremes of bowel dysfunction. Both are unpleasant and uncomfortable, and both offer important clinical insights. Occasional irregularity is not cause for immediate alarm, but chronic, severe issues are signs not only of potential digestive distress, but also offer clues to dysfunction elsewhere in the body.

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The Adrenals: A Missing Link to Obesity – Part II

  
  
  
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As we discussed in Part I, stress can elicit the fight-flight response in the body, which is designed to propel us into action. However, if that response is not properly exercised a ‘defeat response’ can take place, which can cause a dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, those feedback interactions among the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland and the adrenal glands. As time passes this dysregulation takes a toll on our overall health, triggering complications such as thyroid dysfunction, autoimmunity, inflammation and obesity.

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How to Improve Interstitial Cystitis (IC) Symptoms Caused by Stress

  
  
  
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Patients with Interstitial Cystitis (IC) have increased numbers and activity of sympathetic nerves supplying the bladder, as well as extensive connections between the nerves and local mediators of inflammatory tissue reaction such as mast cells(Theoharides et al. 1997) The sympathetic nervous system is activates with your perception of stressful events. So after an argument with your husband, let’s say, you’d stimulate the sympathetic nervous system which causes mast cell production and inflammation of the bladder.

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